Justice Department Responds To Doctor’s Complaint
After several weeks, the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has responded to multiple complaints of alleged police misconduct and abuse, filed by Dr. Stacy Branch, a black doctor of Veterinary Medicine, who charged 8 Anniston police officers with violating her civil rights during a traffic stop.
During the traffic stop, the couple was detained on the highway, questioned excessively, and the vehicle they were traveling in was illegally searched, and later damaged by the Anniston police.
Branch and her husband, Victoriano Martinez, who now live in Mexico, were arrested as a result of the traffic stop which took place in April, 2007.
Only recently has Branch been successful in bringing these issues to the attention of proper authorities, when in July, multiple complaints were filed with The City of Anniston, The Alabama Attorney General’s Office in Montgomery, and the United States Department of Justice.
At the time of the alleged traffic violation, both the doctor and her then fiancé were arrested. Branch was charged with “illegal possession of prescription drugs. All charges against the couple were later dropped in May of 2007.
Dr. Branch has stated that this experience caused her both physical and emotional trauma, being a professional woman, licensed physician, college professor, researcher, and above all, and law-abiding citizen, to have this kind of thing happen to her.
Branch has also requested that the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP investigate the matter, and get involved in pushing for justice on her behalf. “I don’t believe in letting people off the hook when they are charged with a responsibility, they need to step up to the plate” Branch said this week.
Responding to the DOJ filings this week, Richard M. Rogers, Senior Counsel of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice acknowledged receipt of the complaint, advising Branch that the allegations have been brought to the attention of Mark Kappelhoff, Chief of the Criminal Section, Civil Rights Division.
No further details are available at this time.